IFF received multiple complaints of irregular website blocking by ISPs (namely ACT and BSNL) in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The ISPs have justified a couple them as responses to directions from the Government. IFF has written to both DoT and TRAI to take up the matter
Over the last few months, IFF has been on the look out for Net Neutrality violations. Through an online reporting form, we gathered evidence of extensive blocking carried out by not just one but various ISP’s all over the country. We created a data sheet and provided a summary of the reports based on the information collected. A round total of 200 responses of blockings beginning January, 2019 to March 2019 was received.
In light of these rampant violations, we thought it fit to re-activate our #SaveTheInternet website and a week has passed since. The website has "Take Action Petition" button, which allows individuals and organisations to show support to list of joint demands which is then sent to the relevant government offices. The purpose behind this decision was move beyond email support for net neutrality to active petitioning. In this short period of a mere week, we have received tremendous support with about 970 signings.
The website also has the option to submit reports of any net neutrality violations to us. In addition to our earlier 200, we have received a further of 65 reports of such continued blocking. This is a brief analysis of the latest reports.
- We continue to see general blocking of porn, proxy, VPN, torrent and streaming websites; Streamable, College humour, Sound cloud, Telegram, Reddit and Alexa.com, as we did in our previous reports.
- There have been a few responses that indicate blocking of sites that measure internet speeds, gaming sites and some report pure latency being introduced for certain websites.
- A large portion of these connections are mobile based but there have been a number of wired connections reports as well.
- The ISP conducting the highest amount of blockings is Jio, both mobile and wired with some from Airtel, Hathway, You Broadband, Spectra amongst a few others. The blockings have been widespread, ranging from Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal to Maharashtra, Karnataka to name a few states.
- The most recent report that has drawn a considerable reaction from users is the blocking of indiankanoon and earlier today, taxscan. Claims are that a Government order has been provided for indiakanoon, however, there has been no evidence or reason for the blocking. Additionally, after this blocking was discovered, access has been restored to the website.
A consolidated datasheet of the form which redacts the personal details of the respondents is available here. In our efforts to address these violations, we plan on sending a detailed response to the Department of Telecommunications and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India of our findings. Please do continue to report any violations, it will aid in taking necessary steps further. If you haven't shown your support for Net Neutrality yet, make your way to this link right here and sign the petition!